by Francis William Bourdillon (1852 - 1921)

Before the Daybreak
Language: English 
Before the daybreak shines a star
That in the day's great glory fades;
Too fiercely bright is the full light
That her pale-gleaming lamp upbraids.

Before the daybreak sings a bird
That stills her song ere morning light:
Too loud for her is the day's stir,
The woodland's thousand-tongued delight.

Ah! great the honor is, to shine
A light wherein no traveller errs;
And rich the prize to rank divine
Among the world's loud choristers.

But I would be that paler star,
And I would be that lonelier bird,
To shine with hope, while hope's afar,
And sing of love, when love's unheard.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2011-07-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 103